My business 6 years ago started as a Health Coaching practice. I ran cleanses which were mostly elimination diets to help my women understand the foods that worked in their bodies and the foods that hurt them.
What started to happen for me over time was this tricky little thing I was doing, replacing my old dieting lifestyle with cleansing. If I was feeling a few pounds too heavy, I would cleanse. Women who would sign up, their number one goal was to drop weight. While it is amazing to lose weight when you don't feel like yourself, losing weight doesn't translate to falling in love with who you are and how you see yourself.
This created a conflict inside of me. I believe deeply in cleansing, in rebooting the body, in fasts, in giving the body space to breathe and reset. I don't believe in restriction as punishment for how we look or perceive we look to the world.
My work has been highly iterative, as it is for those of us following our passion and spirit. It must shift and grow. As I moved from the world of food and into a stronger soulwork/business focus I left the cleansing behind. I needed to reconcile falling in love with my body before I could move into any sort of restriction or rule following with eating.
I gained weight. I learned to dress myself in a new way. I felt for the first time sexy, not starving myself or following rules.
I finally could say, "I am beautiful."
I stood in the woods and took off my clothes and let myself be seen, knowing that it would be hard for me to look at the pictures after having lived in a much smaller body for so much of my life, but part of my practice of loving me.
After all the changes of 2013 I was in crazy emotional wonky land. I was in unknowing. I was in deep sadness and longing. I was scared of so much of it. I ate and drank in ways I never had before. I turned to wine and potato chips and tequila and tacos to numb what I didn't want to feel. Or say. Or know. Or face. Or challenge. Or just simplly be inside of. And I had quite a bit of fun. It felt wild and young. My metabolism however is that of a 39 year old. Nothing like really being inside of the truth of your physical body, it is a soul visit.
I gained about 13 pounds. I rarely weigh but I needed to face what I had been doing to my body. I no longer felt good in my skin. My digestion was suffering. I created an entire drawer for clothes that no longer fit.
When you don't feel beautiful in your own skin it is impossible to feel sexy. And I want to be guided from a gently sexy place. I want to be turned on by my choices, my friends, my relationships, my work, my finances, my clothes, my touch, my desires, my food. All of it.
Dreaming about creating a course called Sexy and Sanguine for months but not being able to launch it, knowing that I couldn't feel my sexy anymore was my turning point. I was too numb, too scared of feeling everything. The Highly Sensitive Person fear that the feelings will be too much, will overcome us and we won't survive it. (Seriously, that is a huge fear.)
I had journeyed through so much this past year, starting with the prayer that opened me to a radical awakening. I saw myself with eyes of love and then needed to match my life to that love. It was hard. It still is most days. Awakenings are not sugar coated so much as they are the sweetest opening, ripening, raw and exciting and terrifying.
Not feeling right in my skin and needing to ground the wildness of the past year I woke up one morning knowing that it was time to return to the medicine and the magic that is a part of my spiritual practice of living the gorgeous life. And I needed a reboot. Food is our most powerful medicine. It creates our cell's wisdom. It creates roots.
No longer living inside of the need for deprivation there is a freedom. Letting my body shed weight that it holds to hide is a freedom. Grounding myself inside of the beauty of what I put into myself is freedom. Getting rid of that drawer of clothes that don't fit is freedom.
Every body has its own intuition of what makes it feel gorgeous. For me, I have a tendancy towards candida and so my reboots are specific towards rebuilding the balance of good bacteria in my gut. The gut is my spiritual home. If it is strong and thriving so is my spirit.
As I moved into knowing that for the month of January I would take myself through a modified candida cleanse I had to check in with myself.
I knew I needed to break the need for nightly wine to get me through the toughness of parenting and feeling. I love wine and I envision its return, but for now I have to know I can breathe without it.
I knew that if I didn't allow myself my morning decaf with coconut milk that I wouldn't last. It is so deeply part of my morning routine and joy. So I use a coffee with very low mold content and I have one morning cup. My intuition was strong on this one.
I knew that I would need to cocoon myself for a while. Restaurants and night life would be too challenging for me to be part of while I was going through the tough first few weeks. I also knew from the past that so much stuff comes up while you cleanse out the nasty bits. The cocoon is essential for me.
I knew that I would start to supplement with anything that my body seemed to have a knowing it needed. Evening primrose, lysine, pro-biotic, New Mood, zinc, red raspberry leaf tea, those kinds of things.
Today is Day 10. I have a cold sore which always happens to me when I cleanse. I have no cravings and my blood sugar feels so calm and stable. My dreams have been wacky weird. According to my clothes I have shed about half of the weight gained these last few months. My body feels so comfortable. After 10 days I woke up knowing myself in my skin.
Day 5 I felt like shit. Day 7 I started to feel a shift. Day 8 and 9 brought a return of energy and I was a raw emotional puddle.
The foods I am eating are beyond beautiful and rich and filling and also sometimes piss me off, haha.
I am eating all vegetables minus potatoes, mushrooms and corn. Onion and garlic and peppers I have only occasionally, I just listen to my body and its need for calming foods. I make a butternut squash for the week to add sweetness when I need it and roast carrot sticks like french fries with salt and pepper. There is no sugar at all from any source, even fruit, so the butternut squash is heaven! I do use lemon for chicken and fish and salad. Lemon so far seems to work well along with small amounts of raw apple cider vinegar. No other fermented foods.
Protein is chicken, turkey, fish, beef, lamb, eggs, walnuts, cashews and almonds. No soy, no beans. No grains with the exception of occasional rice pasta. I have been using some goat cheese for snacks or to thicken broths of soups. This week I'm trying goat yogurt.
The grounding for me has been in the return to the kitchen, a place where my soulwork began. The rhythm and ritual of preparing foods. The dance of the messy kitchen getting cleaned each night before preparing supper. Chopping and keeping time with my body through the medicine it asks for. Opening the fridge and creating magic from all the pieces before me.
The chicken soup that became a new creation when I blended the broth with cauliflower and added goat cheese and coconut milk and green curry to layer it. With eggplant and carrots it was a gorgeous cold night slurping.
Burgers on lettuce with guacamole and carrot fries, hold the tequila for now.
Stuffed peppers with beef, cauliflower, tomatoes, cumin, yellow curry, butternut squash, coconut milk, thyme and love.
Chicken thighs sauteed with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper then sprinkled with almond meal and green olives as it finished cooking. Served with acorn squash and roasted vegetables.
Frittata with celery, artichoke, carrot, salt and pepper. Freshly grated Romano on top served over baby greens.
These with a homemade mayo dipping sauce with broccoli and cucumber salad.
Trying these with my coconut flour. Thank you Pinterest.
Playing with food, drinking herbal tea at night when I normally would pour the wine, connecting to home through standing in the kitchen. This is where I am. Letting my body return to its knowing. Listening to what it needs from me. Feeling my gut get all spiritual on me again. Feeling the things that I stuffed as each one feels safe to come out in its own timing.
Seeing my skin and hair and belly smile and shine.
Feeling so sexy. So gently sexy.
Desiring this fierce, loving, guided medicine.
And looking forward to a glass of wine once my spirit and body are ready.
In February I'll be guiding the Sexy and Sanguine course that I was dreaming all fall about. There will be soulwork and prompts and challenges to bringing out your (and my) hot confidence. We will embrace the romance of waking up in our own skin. We will explore your rogue ecstasy, your story of fantasy, your beautiful spaces.
And it will be delicious.
For January, I'll be continuing on my journey to feel kick-ass in my body. Emerging sexy and sanguine and ready to explore the magic inside of our ripeness, our beauty, our yes.
Resources that may speak to your spiritual medicinal needs inside of cleansing or rebooting your body::
Persephone - if you want to discover what it feels like without sugar and learn some sweet alternatives she has a free 3 day, kick sugar's sweet ass challenge happening and will be running her crazy popular cleanse in the Spring. She is my support system during this reboot and one of my most amazing friends. On 24 hour text support. Well, kind of...
Elana - her recipes are so simple and encouraging. I discovered her years ago and her recipes change the way I feel in the kitchen. (Again, freedom.)
The Urban Poser recipes I just discovered and am going to sink into this week. Variety is key baby.
From my sweet friends Mara and Cookie, Feed Me. They both are beyond amazing.
My rockstar client Jennifer has been guiding this 5 day detox and she is honestly pure light.
And now the very quick note where I say...this is what works for my body and in no way is intended for others. I am dipping into some transparency around this in hopes that doing so inspires others who feel off or blocked or numb to start to listen to their body and its intuition. So, yeah, the disclaimer!